The Dangerous Side Effects of Fear: Anxiety Overdose

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety, as is defined by the APA Dictionary of Psychology, is a mood state characterized by worry, apprehension, and somatic symptoms. It is similar to the tension caused when an individual anticipates impending danger, catastrophe, misfortune, lingering apprehension, or a chronic sense of worry or tension, the sources of which may be totally unclear. The term “anxiety disorder” refers to specific psychiatric disorders that involve extreme fear or worry, and includes generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder and panic attacks, agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder, selective mutism, separation anxiety, and specific phobias. Anxiety disorders are often overlooked, and as such, many people ignore the tell-tale signs that come with their reactions to everyday activities and experiences.

How Does Anxiety Affect Your Health?

Photo by Arif Riyanto on Unsplash

Personal Experiences With Anxiety

I have perhaps grown to cope with my anxiety. Upon reflection, I can say that it may have been initially triggered by years of being bullied for my complexion, and my body. Often, I felt that if it wasn’t that, then it was always something else. My experiences with these situations have always been confusing because as a dark-skinned person living in a Black majority country, I could never understand how bad I was made to feel for looking the same as everyone else.

How Can You Identify Anxiety To Better Understand It?

My aim as an advocate is to help people to first understand the signs of someone around them who may be experiencing some form of anxiety. Some of the signs are:

  • fear of leaving the house; social withdrawal
  • compulsive or repetitive behaviors
  • changes in personality
  • trouble on the job or in school
  • family or relationship problems
  • alcohol or drug abuse
  • depression or suicidal thoughts and behaviors
  • frequent emotional and physical health issues

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